The Western Conference, behind Bryant (23 points) and hometown favorite Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets (17 points), pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back, routing the Eastern stars 149-128.
In a simulation of the PlayStation Skills Challenge, the Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash successfully defended the title he captured last year in Denver. Nash was pushed to the limit by rookie sensation Chris Paul of the New Orleans/Oklahoma Hornets, but the crafty veteran's experience won out in the end.
In the 3-Point Shootout simulation, Nash's Phoenix teammate Raja Bell upset the field in his first competition appearance. Bell dropped 20 points in the final round, including three consecutive "moneyballs," to down Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. New York Knicks guard Quentin Richardson, the 2005 champ, experienced the dreaded sophomore slump, getting bounced in the first round.
The 2006 All-Star Game, Skills Challenge and 3-Point Shootout were simulated by utilizing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in NBA '06 and PlayStation 2.
NBA '06 is the most complete basketball game available for PlayStation 2, combining state-of-the-art AI, authentic gameplay, and lifelike player models and attributes utilizing the motion capture of NBA athletes, including those of NBA '06 cover athlete and Phoenix Suns All-Star Amare Stoudemire.